Dealing with investors: What to do before and after close?

Private equity investors are considered as one of the most important people for those who want start or expand their respective businesses. After all, the amount capital that they provide and the way these are handled are among the factors that make or break a startup.

Unfortunately, a number of entrepreneurs think that dealing with private equity investors are limited to the period when the company or business is raising funds. Some believe that once the funding round has closed, the money will fall any time regardless of how they transact with the partners that signed a deal with them.

The reality is far from this misconception. Instead of forgetting about the investors who pledged to provide funds for the business once the money had been transferred, entrepreneurs must keep in mind the significance of giving importance to these people. After all, entrepreneurs would not want the investors pulling out the money in a middle of a crucial project.

Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs should deal with investors before and after the close of the funding round:

Before the close:

Once of the most crucial things that the entrepreneur must do during the funding round is to find the appropriate investor for the company. This would depend on the type of business that he or she is into. There are investors who prefer medical-related companies, while others want information technology startups, among others.

Regardless of the type of business, entrepreneurs must find a private equity investor or those who understand the risks of investing in the nature of the business. This would mean that the investor is willing to let go of his or her money for seven years, and put it in a rather risky and illiquid asset.

To counter the risks, the entrepreneur must explain to the potential investor the positive side of the investment – for instance the high rate of return for the successful ones.

Perhaps the most important advice for the entrepreneur is to find an investor who shares the vision of the company. This is highly relevant as it would help in the growth of the business.

After the close:

Once the agreement between the entrepreneur and the investor has been signed, the former must continue to look after the latter. This is necessary as it increases the possibility of future contributions from the said investor.

“Taking care” of the private equity investor does not take much. The business owner just has to provide regular updates – whether monthly or quarterly – to keep the investor on the loop. Likewise, requests must be kept reasonable and thoroughly explained. This will surely get the business owner on the good books of the investors.

Dealing with partners, especially private equity investors is not an easy task. However, doing this the right way will ensure the continuous flow of support for the business.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a network of angel investors, venture capital for start-up funding visit Funded.com

The Secret of Successful Angel Investors

Having a lot of money to support potential start-ups is not the only thing an angel investor needs to be successful. While entrepreneurs often think that the only thing an angel investor invests in his or her ventures is the money, the reality is that there are more than just meets the eye.

There is no denying that money is an important element in the job of an angel investor. However, this is not the only one – he or she needs due diligence in selecting a potential business partners.

Diligence is defined as a person’s carefulness and persistence in his or her job or work. It came from the Latin term diligere, which literally means “to value highly” or “take delight in.” But in English, it usually means working hard or doing everything for the job in hopes for a successful career.

This kind of characteristic and personality is important for angel investors. Generally, would-be entrepreneurs simply think of angels as those who have a lot of money which they can use to fund start-ups, the truth is that they are perhaps the most terrifying people for business startups owners. Angels succeed because of their diligence – or more descriptively, being able to train hard eyes to entrepreneurs and make them sweat while doing their pitches or presentations.

More importantly, successful angel investors simply do not stop after scrutinizing the presentations of potential partners. He or she should not stop until the business is actually well established. Angel investors must be able to point out weaknesses on the business plan, as well as put out suggestions for the good of the business.

Unfortunately, not every angel investor has this kind of diligence. There are some who are really good in selecting potential business startups, but fail to assist its owner from achieving success. This situation is not good, both for the entrepreneur and investor themselves.

Some experts said that a number of angel investors simply think that having a lot of money will make a successful business. It is not, as angel investors are expected to help the business owners in transforming their vision and putting everything written in paper into tangent realities.

The truth is that there is no recipe for the “due diligence” needed by angel investors. The idea is very broad, and its execution will have to depend on the situation and relationship between the angel investor and the entrepreneur.

In the end, what angel investors must remember is that money will not be able to buy them success. Diligence does. Having this kind of trait is the secret of successful angel investors, and everyone who invests in business startups with potentials need to have this to ensure a good future.

This is true for business startup owners, who often think that money is everything. It is not. Entrepreneurs must find diligent angel investors who would be able to help them turn their dreams of having a successful business into a reality.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a network of angel investors, venture capital for start up funding visit Funded.com

 

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Think of Funding When Writing Business Plans

One of the mistakes made during the writing of business plans is treating business funding as if it is a completely separate section with no real relevance to the rest of the plan. In other words, you write your executive summary, business description, market strategies and analyze the competition in a funding vacuum. Then the financial section gets tacked on, and it basically states you need money and here’s how much money you need.

But investors read business plans closely, and they are looking for a particular type of company that fits their requirements.  The words you choose to describe your business and the presentation counts. For example, if you are looking for a business loans from traditional lenders, they are not going to be impressed with hype in the least. You may have the most “stunning” invention ever created that will change the way mankind lives once your product hits the market, but a bank is going to see that kind of claim as marketing hype.

Professional From Beginning to End

Business plans are unique products. They must be interesting, professional and well written while being interesting, entertaining and exciting. That’s not easy to accomplish which is why so many entrepreneurs decide to get professional help writing their plans. Yet one of the most important features that a business plan should have, yet is often overlooked, is funder appeal.

In other words, the funders you plan on appealing to need to be attracted to what you say in your business plan from the beginning all the way to the financing plan.  It’s easy to get carried away while writing because you’re excited about your business and finding startup funding. This can lead to the use of a lot of superlatives that make your business plan look like a lot of hype without substance.

Polish the Product

As a entrepreneur you are not a huckster, so the business plan should not make you look like the equivalent of a snake oil salesman. The business plan that makes a lot of wild promises is not going to attract equity partners. Unsubstantiated claims will not get you approval for business loans. Statements that portray you as a gambler will turn angel investors away.

Business plans should be polished products that are consistently honest and give the right impression throughout the entire document. You can’t write a plan that is sassy and reckless and then expect venture capital funding to be approved because you decide to get serious in the section on financing.

Payment and Plan in Full

Polishing business plans also means making sure the plan is complete. You are in a hurry to get your plan done and to find financing, but a condensed plan won’t get you anything except rejected and especially when looking for startup funding.  Business plans prepared for venture capital firms or equity partners need to contain all of the important information about your business.  The same thing is true for angel investors. If your plan is missing essential information including marketing plan details or financial projections or only summarizes an operational plan, then the assumption will be you have not bothered to work through these details.

The original business plans that entrepreneurs use to find business funding need to be comprehensive plans that are consistent and always keep potential investors in mind. It never pays to skip the details.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a network of angel investors, venture capital for start up funding visit Funded.com

Business Plan Starts with a Mission to Succeed

Business plans are intended to be flexible plans for succeeding, not just surviving, as a company. Yet, according to a famous Harvard professor John Kotter, 70 percent of business initiatives intended to bring organizational change will fail. That is a remarkable figure because it means efforts to adapt to a changing marketplace is failing. There is a barrier between the business plan founded on a mission and the real world.

The setbacks are sometimes one of losing sight of the company mission and weakening to plan. The purpose of the mission statement clearly states what your organization seeks to accomplish, It has a philosophy underlying it that does not change. The mission statement is a reflection of the nature of products or services sold, potential for growth, pricing strategy, customer service, and role in the community, competition and others.

The business plan needs to be developed so that each and every segment drives the business towards fulfillment of the mission. A change of proposal is merely a strategy for keeping the business on track to fulfill the mission. Leading change requires first turning to the mission statement and the business plan. A business that needs to change must be able to write a sense of urgency all through the organization because staying true to the mission statement is needed to succeed. If a change idea is needed, it means the business has gotten off course from its mission and its vision.

The business plan goals and strategies may need to be revised, but that should always be a step in the change process. In fact, business plans can serve as the direction for change as each section, from the Executive Summary to the Financial Statements, are reviewed in light of the need for change. Leadership will identify specific strategies for incorporating change and then communicate the revisions on an organization-wide basis. The change process must be empowering and encompassing, meaning employees at all levels should be embraced as change agents.

Business plans begin with a mission statement and then serve as a living breathing document. Leading organizational change is not always easy, but it can be impossible unless there is buy-in to the mission and the business plan. The strategies used to get that buy-in can vary, but staying on message cannot.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a network of angel investors, venture capital for start up funding visit Funded.com

Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Pitching to Investors

Very few entrepreneurs are given a chance to pitch their businesses to investors. Unfortunately, not everyone who gets a chance to talk with potential source of financial support receives positive response. The reason: they often commit mistakes when pitching their business startups.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that business owners do when pitching their companies to potential investors.

Long elevator pitches

Elevator pitches are called as such because they are expected to be short – around a minute, which is the average length of a person’s ride in an elevator. And despite being called the “elevator pitch,” there are other instances when business owners are required to be brief when introducing their companies to possible investors. These include chance meetings in cocktail parties, meetings, or even introductions between common friends.

Such cases, which often happen in informal settings, are not boardroom meetings. And while investors may be interested in the pitch, talking about it for more than a minute or two is not appropriate. Doing so may put a bad impression on the part of the investor, therefore losing a possible deal.

Business owners must keep in mind that they should save the talk during an actual pitch.

Long presentations

During the actual presentation of the business, PowerPoint presentations are often considered as God-send tools. It provides the people around the room some visual information that could pique their interest on the topic being presented.

However, business owners must keep in mind that PowerPoint presentations are used as support and are not meant to be the star of the show. Therefore, entrepreneurs must be able to limit the length of the PowerPoint presentation so as not to bore potential investors.

These people want business owners to talk about their business startups and not just read from a prepared presentation.

Made-up proposals

Business owners want to impress potential investors. However, putting wrong information on the investment proposal, for instance blowing up the exit figures to impossible proportions, often raise eyebrows of investors.

Entrepreneurs must remember that investors value business owners who present them with the reality more than those who make-up information just to impress them.

Early discussion on valuation

Investors often turn their backs on business owners who start they pitches with valuation. Before doing so, business owners are expected to introduce first the business and its operations. Investors are there to provide money, but they would rather hear about the business first before getting information on the valuation which is, technically, their expertise. There is no need to walk them through on this process.

These are just some of the things that business owners must avoid when pitching their businesses to their potential investors. Following this would make them one step closer to getting some financial support.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website. Funded.com

How Do You Know Your Business Idea is Good?

Investors want to fund good business ideas. That’s a broad statement because what seems like a good idea to me may be different from what seems like a good idea to you. So many ideas never seem to go anywhere. Some are just so uninspiring that they can’t seem to get the attention of anyone, much less investors. You can even write a whole business plan around a bad idea, leading to great disappointment when investors spot the fact it’s bad.

A good business idea is much more than just an idea. You can sit there all day and come up with ideas, but that doesn’t make them good. Good business ideas have certain qualities that differentiate them from other ideas. For one thing, a good business idea fulfills an unmet customer need, and it is often a need the consumer doesn’t even recognize yet. That may sound odd, but great ideas are often not great until someone invents a product or service.

Determining if a business idea is a good one requires more than just knowing the market will appreciate products or services. The idea must be feasible and realistic in terms of production costs, the time from funding to sales, profitability and safety. A good business idea is also one that can be brought to fruition because the entrepreneurs have the knowledge and skills needed.

There are more qualities associated with good business ideas, but one of the most important is related to innovation. Good business ideas offer a new twist on products or represent creative and innovative new products. The new twist or innovation should represent something that matters to people which means it brings some kind of satisfaction.

There are no hard and fast rules or magic formula to define a good business idea. Instead, investors will consider all of the qualities of the idea coupled with the marketing, competitive and financial factors.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out Funded.com.

Five people you should meet before you start a business

As a budding business owner who is about to venture into the entrepreneurship journey, one of the best things you can do to set yourself on the right path is meeting people. Of course, it is possible to start out all on your own but it is difficult to really go to far without having help from one person or another. The kind of people you meet and how they influence you will have a huge impact on your business and how successful it turns out.  The different types of people you will meet will help your business in so many different ways such as forming of partnerships, people who are connected to major resources you might need in your business, people with more experience than you do, and people with different connections and networks.

  1. Someone who is experienced in what you are doing

This category of people can be called the mentor. A person that has done similar to what you are doing. Such a person will have the necessary skill and required wisdom and experience,that you may not have yet and can successfully help you out with tips and advices that will help you solve some problems easily. In addition,this person may have a network of contacts that you can add to your own network pool.

  1. Mentor

For your business to be successful and gain ground in any area, you have to get in touch person who is well known and respected in the community. It may not necessarily be someone that is in the same field of expertise. It can someone you admire or has positive input and encouragement. You get the added benefits of having this mentor could give you a major boost and provide insight from being outside the box.

  1. Peers

These are the people in the same niche that you are in and within the same area. Although they might not be as much influence as the first two, but there is a very high chance that you can make use of their network of contact and they can make use of yours. You can share resources with them too since you will most likely face the same kind of problems.

  1. Local talent

You will need some skill-set that you may not have. There is a good chance that you may find someone or people who can assist you in one skilled area or the other within the vicinity of your business and may be willing to help or give you free advise.

  1. Business Plan Writer

Your business will surely need some capital for you to start with and no matter how frugal your start-up capital might be. Having an experienced business plan writer write your business plan has experience formatting your business plan in a way a bank or investor would expect to see. Having a business plan is a road map of what you expect and a guide for your business.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out Funded.com

 

Importance of a Business Plan

Before a business is able to commence on its operations, it is important to have some specific details about the business mapped out. This actually varies from size to size as it can be just a few sentences or even take over a hundred pages containing different formal sections, title page and table of content. Basically, a typical business plan has an average page range of 15 – 20 pages and if comprehensive, it should consist of three sections – The business concept, the marketplace and the Financials section. These sections are the further broken down into seven more components which are the business overview or summary of the plan, the business description, market strategies, competition analysis, design and development, operations and management, and financial information. However, it does not matter how long or lengthy a business plan is, what matters is, the level of importance that should be attached to a business plan should be high. In this articles we will be looking at the importance of a business plan

  1. A business plan makes direction of the business clearer

The main purpose of writing a business plan is to have a clear view of the business and what the business’ goals are over a period of time. Being able to have a clear view of the direction in which a business is headed helps understand what needs to be done to achieve progress for the business. Making business direction clearer may include things like business description and its services or details of the ideal target customers of the business.

  1. Planning for the future

Time is a key factor in the development and growth of a business and a business plan can effectively take time into factor to make forecasts on possible market changes, market trends and new innovations or directions to go through as the business progresses. Having a clear direction helps a business know how and where to start from but future planning helps to have an idea of what the business’ goals should be.

  1. Funding or financing purposes

A business plan, a comprehensive one, helps determine the viability of a business in terms of profit. By putting statistics, figures, detailed plans and facts in writing, it will be easier to convince an investor to fund the business.

  1. Attract people to join the business

A business plan is all a business owner needs to bring in partners, executive level employees or even secure supplier accounts. With a business plan, anybody who might be interested in the business can get the needed conviction and see the potential of the business and consequently become a part of it.

  1. Effectively manage the business

With a business plan, the organization is well structured and each management position gets their role mapped out. A business plan also makes it possible to monitor the progress of the business and check if the business is well on its course to meeting up with targets, operational milestones and goals.

The importance of a business plan is not limited to these specific points. A Business plan can also help you achieve other goals such as establishing  new avenues of product development, securing suppliers and defining alternative marketing strategies to engage customers. It is an important tool for every business owners and should not be taken for granted.   

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out Funded.com

How Do You Know Your Business Idea is Good?

Investors want to fund good business ideas. That’s a broad statement because what seems like a good idea to me may be different from what seems like a good idea to you. So many ideas never seem to go anywhere. Some are just so uninspiring that they can’t seem to get the attention of anyone, much less investors. You can even write a whole business plan around a bad idea, leading to great disappointment when investors spot the fact it’s bad.

A good business idea is much more than just an idea. You can sit there all day and come up with ideas, but that doesn’t make them good. Good business ideas have certain qualities that differentiate them from other ideas. For one thing, a good business idea fulfills an unmet customer need, and it is often a need the consumer doesn’t even recognize yet. That may sound odd, but great ideas are often not great until someone invents a product or service.

Determining if a business idea is a good one requires more than just knowing the market will appreciate products or services. The idea must be feasible and realistic in terms of production costs, the time from funding to sales, profitability and safety. A good business idea is also one that can be brought to fruition because the entrepreneurs have the knowledge and skills needed.

There are more qualities associated with good business ideas, but one of the most important is related to innovation. Good business ideas offer a new twist on products or represent creative and innovative new products. The new twist or innovation should represent something that matters to people which means it brings some kind of satisfaction.

There are no hard and fast rules or magic formula to define a good business idea. Instead, investors will consider all of the qualities of the idea coupled with the marketing, competitive and financial factors.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out Funded.com

Think of Funding When Writing Business Plans

One of the mistakes made during the writing of business plans is treating business funding as if it is a completely separate section with no real relevance to the rest of the plan. In other words, you write your executive summary, business description, market strategies and analyze the competition in a funding vacuum. Then the financial section gets tacked on, and it basically states you need money and here’s how much money you need.

But investors read business plans closely, and they are looking for a particular type of company that fits their requirements.  The words you choose to describe your business and the presentation counts. For example, if you are looking for a business loans from traditional lenders, they are not going to be impressed with hype in the least. You may have the most “stunning” invention ever created that will change the way mankind lives once your product hits the market, but a bank is going to see that kind of claim as marketing hype.

Professional From Beginning to End

Business plans are unique products. They must be interesting, professional and well written while being interesting, entertaining and exciting. That’s not easy to accomplish which is why so many entrepreneurs decide to get professional help writing their plans. Yet one of the most important features that a business plan should have, yet is often overlooked, is funder appeal.

In other words, the funders you plan on appealing to need to be attracted to what you say in your business plan from the beginning all the way to the financing plan.  It’s easy to get carried away while writing because you’re excited about your business and finding startup funding. This can lead to the use of a lot of superlatives that make your business plan look like a lot of hype without substance.

Polish the Product

As a entrepreneur you are not a huckster, so the business plan should not make you look like the equivalent of a snake oil salesman. The business plan that makes a lot of wild promises is not going to attract equity partners. Unsubstantiated claims will not get you approval for business loans. Statements that portray you as a gambler will turn angel investors away.

Business plans should be polished products that are consistently honest and give the right impression throughout the entire document. You can’t write a plan that is sassy and reckless and then expect venture capital funding to be approved because you decide to get serious in the section on financing.

Payment and Plan in Full

Polishing business plans also means making sure the plan is complete. You are in a hurry to get your plan done and to find financing, but a condensed plan won’t get you anything except rejected and especially when looking for startup funding.  Business plans prepared for venture capital firms or equity partners need to contain all of the important information about your business.  The same thing is true for angel investors. If your plan is missing essential information including marketing plan details or financial projections or only summarizes an operational plan, then the assumption will be you have not bothered to work through these details.

The original business plans that entrepreneurs use to find business funding need to be comprehensive plans that are consistent and always keep potential investors in mind. It never pays to skip the details.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions.  If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out Funded.com